A NOVEL extreme sport once experienced only in Luzon (government-owned CamSur Watersports Complex in Pili, Camarines Sur) has now arrived in Davao. Hyped too soon last year, the opening of Deca Wakeboard Park was halted due to some technicalities (reclassification of land from Light Industrial Zone to Parks and Recreation Zone to accommodate said project).

Today, it thrives quietly with a grand opening yet to be announced as more enthusiasts are flocking over to the place in Barangay Tacunan, Mintal.

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An elevated area filled with an artificial lake, construction is still being finished over half of the establishment but the wakeboarding facilities are clearly on a roll. Development is said to cost P30 million and is the second biggest park after CamSur.

Wakeboarding is a surface water sport equivalent to snowboarding. It's riding on a wakeboard over a body of water and being towed behind a boat or cable system. This sport uses different combination techniques of waterskiing, snowboarding and surfing.

The result is an exhilarating and physically challenging activity which evolved from the surfing rage of long time beach residents.

Just like the Wake Park World in CamSur, Deca Park also has a state-of-the-art towing installations, restaurant and a large manmade pool estimated to cover almost seven hectares of land.

In the near future, it aims to host international competitions in the country, according to manager Louell Yu. For now, locals and foreigners are enjoying the sport as a refreshing and innovative way to relax and chill with fellow wakeboarders.

When we went there with friends, Rhonson's aim was to shoot the Korean nationals from the water and let them fly above him. After a few attempts to wakeboard, he went back to shooting.

I myself would have given it a go if I were back in my younger, break-dancing days, but at the risk of my board shorts being pulled down as I skim the waters, I merely contented myself with shooting the awesome skills of several amazing Koreans (I was told one of them is a champ back in his home), and a young female wonder at age 17. The best part is capturing their somersaults in a backdrop of the majestic Mount Apo.

Deca opens daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a lunch break of 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The restaurant serves good meals, too. Cable passes for the whole day is P1,000 (P700 for Davao residents and P500 for Deca homes residents), and P700 for the half day (P500 for Davao residents and P350 for Deca residents).

On Wednesdays, the rate is lower by a hundred pesos because Deca opens at 10:30 a.m. The rates include free use of wakeboard, vest and helmet, but they have a store which sells brand new stuff. For more info visit www.decawake.com.

With good news for the city, this new extreme sports will add to the label of Davao as one of the best adventure destinations in the Philippines.

Write to jojiealcantara@gmail.com or visit her website www.witerary.com